How to Replace a Lost U.S. Passport
By Meg Jernigan
Updated August 24, 2017
Replacing a Lost (or Stolen) Passport
With a few exceptions, a U.S. passport is a must-have, for adults and children, for travel abroad. Losing a passport can be a minor hassle when you need to replace it, or a big deal if it’s been taken as a means to steal your identity. You should report the loss immediately.
Does My Child Need a Passport?
Your child is required to have a passport, but it's not required if traveling to Canada, Mexico and some island nations. Complete Form DS-11 and gather the necessary documentation. Kids under 16 must apply in person with a parent or guardian. You’ll need proof of U.S. citizenship for your child, such as a birth certificate, and a photo that meets State Department requirements. You, the parent, need to present valid ID. You'll also need to prove that you and the child’s other parent or guardian, if living, consent to the child having a passport and that you are, indeed, the child’s parent or guardian. The fee for a passport book is $80 plus an additional $25 execution fee. Passports for children are valid for five years.
How to Replace a Passport
Once you’re certain the passport is lost, first you need to call the passport agency with the Department of State and then, mail a Form DS-64 or go online to report that it’s missing. It will be canceled as soon as the department is made aware of its loss, so it won’t be valid if you happen to find it later.
To replace a lost passport, fill out a Form DS-11 and take it to your nearest passport agency. Mail and online passport applications can’t be used if you’ve lost your passport. Call the passport agency to see if you’re expected to make an appointment. You’ll need to complete the process as you did when you first got a passport. Bring proof of citizenship, proof of identity, a color photo and the appropriate fee. The application fee for an adult is $110 plus a $25 application fee.
If you happen to lose your passport while you’re out of the country, contact the U.S. consulate or embassy in that country.
How Long Will it Take?
The normal processing time for a U.S. passport is six to eight weeks. If you get concerned about the length of time it’s taking to process the replacement, use the online passport status system to check on your passport. The State Department also offers expedited service for an additional $60 fee. Add overnight delivery for $15.45 if you’re in a complete crunch. Private companies promise to get your new passport to you in a matter of days, but its quite expensive.
Meg Jernigan has been writing for more than 30 years. She specializes in travel, cooking and interior decorating. Her offline credits include copy editing full-length books and creating marketing copy for nonprofit organizations. Jernigan attended George Washington University, majoring in speech and drama.